Although the Cubs built an early lead in this one, and then kept adding to it, the game never felt put away. I joked about it on Twitter in terms of Cubs fans always wanting to see this team with a bigger and bigger lead, but it was a very real feeling for some reason.
Maybe it was seeing that Jon Lester was just a touch off. Maybe it was the Cubs leaving some runners in scoring position (or running into outs on the bases) with fewer than two outs. Or maybe it was just that the Padres wouldn’t go away.
Then, with a five-run lead in the 8th, the Cubs turned to Justin Grimm, who allowed three of the first four batters in the inning to reach. Adam Warren took over and looked like he might cruise out of the jam with a nasty strikeout and two quick strikes to Alex Dickerson. But one horrible pitch later, Dickerson had his first big league homer – a grand slam – and suddenly it was a one-run game.
Thank goodness the Cubs tacked on a bunch of runs in the middle and later innings (shout out to Ben Zobrist, who went 4-4 and just keeps raking), because every one of those runs counted. At the time, it looked like the bats were trying to steal yet another save opportunity from Hector Rondon, but …